Term 2 | Week 9


“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; second by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is bitterest.” – Confucius

As exam blocks draw to a close, the nights draw on and the frost sparkles in the morning light, it is a time of reflection at SCOTS PGC.  Feedback and reflection are an essential part of the learning process, not just in schools, but for every lifelong learner.  Without constructive criticism, it is very difficult to identify areas for improvement.  For learning communities it is a vital cog; being able to use feedback to determine areas to work on and being resilient enough to keep going despite setbacks enables us to work towards academic and personal excellence.

This reminds me of my favourite inventor and engineer, Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb.  Edison placed a great importance on reflection, seeing each failure as an opportunity to learn something new about the problem and about himself.   This was the key to his success and eventual breakthrough.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison

Self-reflection is a humbling process as often we are our greatest critic.  However, it is essential to find why you think, say and do certain things.  This informs and inspires us to better ourselves.  There would be no iPhone if Steve Jobs had not been able to reflect on and improve himself after he was fired as CEO of Apple.  No moon landing for Apollo 11 if the NASA engineers had not reflected and improved on the Apollo missions 1 through 10.  Large companies like Google and Microsoft devote whole divisions tasked with asking one question “how can we improve?”

Here at SCOTS PGC, we see this reflection and self-improvement as a core skill and, after every assessment item, there is the opportunity for students to gain feedback from their teachers and reflect on their own learning.  Students are encouraged to set goals for the future and to make improvements for next time.  It is in this self-reflection that the most powerful learning happens and resilience is developed.

 “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas A. Edison

Finally, let me take this opportunity to update you on a few things that are changing in the Curriculum Area over the next year at the College.  Firstly, the travel day at the beginning of Term 3 will not be Parent-Teacher interviews, instead, we will run the Year 10 SET plan interviews on this day. This is an opportunity for the students to reflect on where they are at and plan for Year 11.  This has been done to allow the College to commence Year 11 midway through Term 4.  The Parent-Teacher interviews will be moved to the Travel Day at the beginning of Term 4.  However, if you would like to arrange an interview please do not hesitate to contact either myself or Beverly Hobbs, we would be happy to accommodate any request.

Secondly, we will be changing the reporting structure for next year, to adjust to the new senior system, which has different timelines. This will focus more on quality continuous feedback on student achievement.  Details of these changes and requests for feedback will be sent out over the holidays.

Lastly, you may have noticed the introduction of Year 9 and 10 exams blocks.  There will be two exam blocks each year, one at the end of Semester One and one in Term 4.  This is to get the students used to the external assessment environment and having to revise and study whole semesters and, in some subjects, a year’s worth of study.  All these assessments will be modelled on the new internal and external assessments that the students will experience in Years 11 and 12.

If you have any questions about any of the changes please do not hesitate to get in contact.  I hope everyone has a restful and happy holiday.

Mr Mark Richards – Director of Learning and Innovation

Year 10 SET Plan Update

This week we saw the culmination of the documenting phase of the SET Plan process for the Year 10 cohort whereby they were required to complete their SET Plan Career Summary.

A letter, a copy of the student’s SET Plan summary and the Subject Selection Lines for Year 11 2019 will be sent home to all Year 10 parents during the school holidays.  The SET Plan Summary provides a “Snap Shot” view of the individual students in terms of who they are, what their strengths and weaknesses are and their academic ability up to this point.

The signing off of the SET Plan will take place during an interview with all parties of the SET Plan process on Monday 16th July, which is Travel Day Term 3.  Parents will be asked to book an interview time using the on-line booking system on the College’s website during the holidays.  If you are unable to make an interview on this day, please phone the VET office on 07 46669851 after Monday 17th July to organise an alternate interview time or a phone interview.

Mr Peter Pickering – Careers Guidance Counsellor

Message from our Chaplain

Never before in history have so many people had so much, yet felt so dissatisfied. What a statement and yet so true. Some sociologists point to technology and social media as significant factors in our constant unhappiness. We are the first people in the history of the world who can peek inside the lives of others in real time. We carry tiny media powerhouses in our pockets that let us voyeuristically follow other people around, through all of their check-ins and pictures and video clips. And if what we’re seeing in the lives of others seems better, more interesting and more fulfilling than our own lives, we feel like we’re missing out. Of course, that feed we’re watching may not necessarily reflect the whole reality. Most people generally put their best foot forward, showing you only the things they want you to see. Photo-shopped and cropped, filtered and edited, what we see online makes our own reality seem dingy and dull. No wonder we often feel so dissatisfied. No matter how much we have, it can’t compare to what we need the most.

Perhaps no one has understood this better than the Apostle Paul. When Paul was in a prison in Rome, he wrote about his experiences and what he had learned. He basically said, “I’ve gone without the things that I need before. But I’ve also had times when I had more than enough. Life happens in seasons. I’ve had good seasons where everything was going well, and I’ve had hard ones where nothing went my way. But through them all, I’ve learned that there’s one secret to being content: I can do anything and everything—not by my own power—but through Christ. Jesus gives me the strength to handle anything that comes my way.”

You will always battle with discontentment until you let Christ be all that you need. You can chase after everything you’ve ever wanted and get it all . . . It won’t be enough. At the end of the day, every day, you’ll still feel empty.

Blessings, Rev Willie


T2W10 Co-curricular Programme

T2W10 Sport Fixtures

JAM Clan Sing Off

The Junior and Middle Clan Sing Off will be held, once again on the last day of this Term, Friday June 22.

Students from Prep to Year 6 have been learning Shakira’s ‘Try Everything’ and this year, each Clan will be asked to interpret the song in their own way. Senior students from each Clan will be the creative drivers of this activity.

The dance sessions will take place on Thursday afternoon from 1.30pm until 3.10pm and then on Friday morning from 8.40, culminating in the final competition performance.

The Clan Sing Off Competition will begin at 10.00 am in the Assembly Hall and be completed in time for the normal morning tea break.

Students from Prep to Year 6 are to wear Clan T-Shirt with their PE shorts and sandshoes on Thursday June 21 and Friday June 22.  Parents are welcome to watch the competition; please arrive at 9.55am in order for the performance to start promptly at 10.00am.